Weebly Review: We test “free & easy” Weebly

Websites for grown-ups, no technical skills required: that’s Weebly’s promise. We’ve decided to do you a favor and take a closer look.

Weebly’s well-organized interface makes it easy to see at a glance what it has to offer. Like Webnode, it has a series of menus across the top for easy access to its key features. A simple drag and drop is all it takes to add text, images or forms to your Weebly website.

Weebly’s pricing

The website doesn’t reveal too much about pricing. So here’s the deal: the basic package is free, but will include a small Weebly ad in your website’s footer.

Their paid plans consists of two tiers: Starter, which is priced at $4 and lets you fully customize your website’s footer to remove the Weebly logo. It also gives you access to their premium support. The Pro plan is $8 per month and includes even more slick features, like site search, header slideshows as well as video and audio players. Business (25$) is the best choice if you want to run an online store with an unlimited amount of products and features like coupon codes. Find our detailed comparison of Weebly’s pricing options here.

Note that you will have to pay extra for your own domain name. However, a .com domain will be a rather steep $39.95 per year (with discounts available for longer terms).

See it in action here

info Try Weebly for free. Sign up for an account here (link will open in a new window)

Weebly in detail

Criterion Rating Comment
Ease of use
This is exactly how a website builder should be. There's no learning curve with Weebly, so you'll have your website up and running in no time.
Choice and flexibility of design (templates)
They offer a great selection of flexible templates, and if you're a pro you can even access the source code for further customization. A smartphone-friendly website will be generated automatically.
Advertisement-free yes In the Pro version only. The free version has a small advertising link in the footer.
Languages
Currently available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese. Support available in English only. No special feature to create multilingual sites. Do not use Weebly for non-English character sets like Russian, Chinese or Arabic as they are not fully supported.
Your own domain name (e.g. .com or .net) yes You can buy a domain from Weebly, but it works out to be pretty expensive and they only offer .com, .net or .org domains. You can re-direct a domain you've bought elsewhere though.
Depth of navigation
Unlimited. A drop-down menu is added to your navigation bar automatically.
Widgets (small tools to add extra functionality)
Photo galleries, video and music players and more. We very much like the Button-Widget that let's you create call-to-action buttons easily.
Monetization yes Using banner ads for example. Please note: Weebly used to keep 50% of your Google AdSense revenue. This has finally changed: you will now get 100%.
E-Commerce
Weebly offers a solid and easy-to-use online store with SSL encryption and multiple payment options. Detailed information in our Weebly Online Store review.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Title, meta and description tags are all customizable at page level, as are your images' ALT text. URL text is always created from the respective menu item. The use of headlines (H1, H2 etc.) is limited.
Blog
Has all the standard features, e.g. comment moderation and trackbacks. Would be good to have the option to schedule blog posts for publication at a future date. Thanks to their mobile apps (iPhone and Android) you can even blog on the go.
Visitor statistics
Weebly has its own tracking tool, or you can use Google Analytics.
Contact form yes Use drag and drop to create detailed contact forms or surveys.
Password protection yes Available in the Pro plan. You can either protect the entire site or selected pages.
Newsletter tool no You can use an external newsletter system, such as Mailchimp or Aweber.
Add HTML code yes Allows you to add external widgets and other tools.
Storage space Unlimited Individually, your files cannot exceed 10 MB each on the free plan, or 250 MB each on the Pro plan. But other than that, the sky's the limit! No limits on bandwidth either. And you can even download your Weebly website and host it on your own web space.
Forum yes Direct integration with Tal.ki, which makes adding forums a piece of cake.
Support yes Email, knowledge base and live chat (look in the Help Center, to us it seems they are hardly available). Email support responded usually competently and quickly to our questions.
Fun Factor
Weebly listens to their users and continuously improves the product. We also like their non-aggressive sales style.
Overall Rating
4.9/5
One of the best website builders on the market. There's room for improvement in its store, but other than that Weebly hits the spot.

Conclusion

weebly recommendation 2013At first glance, the Weebly website seems like nothing special. But take a closer look and you’ll discover an outstanding tool. It’s simple, uncluttered and easy to use, and that’s exactly what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own internet presence.

We think Weebly and Jimdo run neck and neck. Both tools serve the same market segment, and both are easy to use and work equally well. Jimdo gets bonus points for their integrated newsletter tool and the included email account(s), while Weebly’s strengths lie in its extremely flexible design options and integrated multimedia (for example, its video player).

Enough with theory: Try it out for yourself and see how you like it!

> Click here to try Weebly for free

Weebly Example Sites

Alternatives to Weebly

Squarespace
See review
Webnode
See review

FAQ about Weebly

Does Weebly provide email accounts?

They offer email accounts through Google Apps. This is a professional solution but it will set you back $45 per user (yearly). For many this won’t be ideal as it’s a bit pricey. A better approach would be to purchase your domain name through an external registrar (e.g. Namecheap or Godaddy), point it to Weebly and set up email there. Another alternative could be Jimdo or Webnode where a free email account is already part of the paid plans.

weebly-google-apps

If I choose the Weebly Pro package now, can I later change to the Business plan?

Yes, that’s possible. All previous payments will be credited so won’t loose any money.

Should I purchase my domain name from Weebly? Or is it better to use a service like Go Daddy?

Domain names are not that cheap if you buy them through Weebly ($39.99 per year). With Go Daddy, for example, you can purchase a domain name for around $10-15 per year and it already includes one email account. Their Deluxe Email Package is around $50 per year and provides 5 email accounts.

Setting up a Go Daddy domain name for your Weebly website

This looks a bit complicated but at least for a brand new domain name it’s straightforward to set up. Please note that everything you change is at your own risk!

You need to go to your Zone File Editor and change the entries highlighted in red so that they have the same values like in the screenshot. Please note that it can a few hours for them to become active.

godaddy weebly

Can I really use the free version of Weebly and connect my existing domain name for free?

No, not anymore. You need at least a Starter plan to do that.

Does Weebly offer support in any other language than English?

No, currently they don’t.

I saw that I can also get Weebly through Bluehost or HostGator. Should I sign up with Weebly directly?

The advantage of signing up for Weebly through Bluehost or HostGator is that they provide a domain name and email accounts. But Bluehost’s offering is more expensive than signing up with Weebly directly. What’s important is that it may take longer to receive new feature updates and you won’t be able to use Weebly’s support. Weebly is available to all Bluehost customers, you can try it out here. Please note: when Bluehost refers to Weebly it does so by saying “Free Drag and Drop Site Builder”, HostGator calls it “Easy SiteBuilder”.

Which browser should I use for Weebly?

Generally, any of the major browsers will work. In our experience, it’s best to use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Review Updates

17 Feb 2014 - Google Apps integration for email accounts (see FAQ)
11 Feb 2014 -
Addition to Languages (limited support of foreign character sets)
04 Jan 2014
- Weebly finally doesn’t take a 50% cut on Google AdSense ads anymore.
29 Nov 2013 –
Added Weebly Online Store Review 
28 Oct 2013
- Weebly Support offers now live chat.
09 Oct 2013 -
Existing domain names cannot be connected to free Weebly sites anymore.
21 Jun 2013 – New video review of the updated editor
02 May 2013
 - New editor design and a price increase: Starter is now $4 (before $3.29) and Pro $8 (before $6.63)
13 Mar 2013 - We’ve added information about password protection.
08 Feb 2013 - New pricing plans: Starter and Pro plan.
17 Dec 2012 - New features: site search, header slideshows, custom footer and more. Our review.
03 May 2012 - Quite a few additions: an iPhone app, the Button Element and more template flexibility
17 Jan 2012 - Video review and video page added
22 Nov 2011 - We checked Weebly’s server performance and it has done pretty well.
20 Jul 2011 - Review of Weebly’s mobile website
17 Mar 2011 - General update
12 Jan 2010 - General update – support not reviewed at this time.

Last updated: 17 Feb 2014 | Robert Brandl

Your opinion and user reviews:

 
  • Virtual B

    Hi Robert! I’m thinking of subcontracting with other relevant entrepreneurs. I would like to place a link on my site that leads to theirs as a referral. My question is, how can I insert this link and have my partners know their potential clients actually came from my site as we’d be trying to keep track for referral percentage purposes…?

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      I think your best bet would be to track via Google Analytics. They have a URL builder for campaigns. When a visitor clicks the link your partners will know that the visitor came through your site. The referral source will be “campaigns” under the Acquisition menu in Google Analytics. Here’s the link: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en I hope this helps!

  • artie

    Hi, This is a good review although I can’t agree about Weebly support from my experience with them, had to send in several tickets before they got back to the first one ,and the live chat is very rarely on.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Artie, thanks for your comment! Now that you mention it: we’ve also been waiting for a week now to get feedback on their new web store that we need to finish the review. If anyone else wants to share his experience with Weebly’s support in our comments, please feel free!

      • Javed Khan

        My customers never use credit card. I think that weebly use only thrre check out payments. while Jimdo uses manula payment process as well. My customer use bank wire transfer, by check and COD etc.

  • chenchuanwen

    zsdasdasdasd

  • rose

    The video here said weebly can only be used with paypal, I have recently been talking with acceptsafe which claims they have an agreement with FatCow web hosting giving a choice to use paypal or acceptsafe with Weebly. Is this true?

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Rose, Weebly’s online store supports Paypal, Authorize.net and Stripe. That is, when you sign up with Weebly directly. I don’t know if other hosting companies who re-sell Weebly already offer the new online store. For more details please check out our full review of Weebly’s e-commerce features: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/reviews/weebly-review/online-store/

  • Gar

    How does Weebly compared to the more expensive business specific website builders like Just Add Content? They don’t have a free trial (or a free version) so I can’t try them, but they’re just for businesses and supposed to be focused. How do these compare? Are they worth the extra cost? I like the idea of it being business specific but not sure how different it really is.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Gar, there are plenty of businesses using Weebly, Jimdo, Squarespace and the likes. They even offer very decent e-commerce features in case you want to create an online store. I took a quick look at Just Add Content’s website but couldn’t really figure out a single reason how they can charge $69 per month, which is almost ten times Weebly’s price.

  • Damien Mather

    Be very
    careful when choosing a host because it is a pain in the neck to change. I
    went for DreamHost and they are pretty good. You can use the promo code
    SAVEHUGE50 at checkout and get $50 discount.

  • Sara

    I am very new to this. I am looking to set up a simple, sponsored blog following my weight loss journey. I know you have checked “monetisation” but I just want to confirm that I can place a banner ad of my sponsor on the home page of a weebly wesbite and not violate their terms and conditions, for instance like wordpress.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      In Weebly’s Terms of Service you can read what is not allowed. They say: “Excessive Advertising: placing excessive advertising on your site, including more than three ad units per page”. So I think an ad banner of your sponsor shouldn’t be a problem.

  • BOB THE BLOB

    IT’S RETARDED! YOU HAVE TO UPGRADE EVERY WEBSITE YOU CREATE UNDER THE SSAAMMEE ACCOUNT TO BUSINESS CLASS… THAT’S RIDICULOUS!

  • Marc

    Weebly customer service is pitiful! I made a website for a friends B&B in the Philippines, and she paid for it with her credit card. Weebly decided that it violated there terms of service so without notice they deleted the website and closed my account!!! I got the message error (E313) in weeblt login when trying to log in.
    Beware before wasting your time and building a site with weebly, because if they decide they dont like you, they will flush you out and you will loose all the work you did in building the website. I know use Sitekreator, which is far better than weebly, and at least you get a reply to your questions when emailing customer support!

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Hi Marc, sorry to hear that. Did they tell you why the account was closed? Happy to follow up for you on this. Just let me know!

      • Marc

        Hi Robert!
        Here is what they replied:
        Your
        account was in violation of our Terms of Service for detection of
        fraudulent purchases. So your site was shut down and your account was
        disabled. Sorry this happened out of the blue. The ban cannot be
        reversed.

        See our TOS here:
        http://www.weebly.com/tos.php

        There was absolutely no problem with the purchase other that it was done in the Philippines. My client is well off, and has many properties, and he used his credit card to pay for the weebly service, It is very bad business practice to simply delete your website, and close your account without even informing you, I spent a day building this website, and do not appreciate their way of doing business.

        Thanks for your help!

        • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

          I just contacted them, let’s see what they say.

        • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

          Hi Marc, so I’ve got Weebly’s answer now. Weebly told me that the problem lies in the fact that they risk getting their credit card processing account shut down if only a fraction of their customers abuse it. They confirmed that they made a mistake in your case. They also told me that they’ve contacted you, re-opened the account and compensated you for the error. If you are still having any issues please let me know!

  • Marlon

    Ok, I am 67 years old and always considered myself computer illiterate. If I can do this…….anyone can. Weebly has been fantastic. Their video help really explained the system well. I am really proud of my site which includes music and videos. All of my friends want to know who I got to develop it and how much it cost. When I tell them it was me they freak out. I originally tried Jimdo, but never could get a handle on how to use it. All I can say is that my site looks extremely professional, and my store (although very specialized) is gaining visits every day. Check out my site: theartisansquill.com and tell me what you think. Better yet, click LIKE and SHARE if you approve.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Nice work Marlon! Thanks for sharing.

  • Name

    Hello,
    I like to sign up for weebly pro. I read a lot of comlaints about their server being down most of the time. Is this true? Thanks.

  • Donotuseweeblyy

    Every single time I have had an issue with Weebly it has taken anywhere between days and weeks be addressed. One issue was never addressed at all and remains ignored. And Weebly has just now not saved an entire post I wrote. Not saved. Not published. And when I write to Weebly about it they will pretend not to know what I am talking about, ignore me, write to me with irrelevant standard responses and then forget I exist.

    • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

      Thanks for your comment. Could you send us more information about this issue via the contact form? I’d be happy to follow up on this with our contact person at Weebly.

  • Katherine

    Hi, Robert. Just wanted to let you know I got it working. Thanks for your help!

  • Gui

    Hi Val, I noticed that there’s a weebly website builder tool on Hostgator, that means people can build a website using weebly after they bought services on Hostgator?

  • http://www.tooltester.net/ Robert (Tooltester Network)

    Yes Gui, that’s correct. However, I’d be a bit cautious using the Hostgator version of Weebly as we’ve heard from some users that they didn’t have the same features that you would get through Weebly directly (see the FAQ above). If you asked me, I’d always get it from Weebly directly.